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AMEinfo Exclusive: Davos 2019 pushes for more women leaders

By Syed AtiquePublisher – Business | Content Leader- Mediaquest

The world needs more women leaders in business, politics , nd culture, concurred an all-female panel at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

The world is still a long way off from achieving gender parity in employment – 108 years off, according to an estimate by the World Economic Forum.

But panelists agreed that the developed world is at a tipping point in this respect.

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“Optimism gives some kind of certainty that what you do is important,” said Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania. “Figures say one thing, but we are responsible for changing them.”

The need to tackle fundamental biases in the workplace was highlighted as a means to enable women to make it to the top.

“There is a false narrative and biased assumptions that we are using as justification for lack of progress,” said Carolyn Tastad, Group President for North America at Procter & Gamble. “We’ve got to get rid of labels,” she said, such as the idea that women lack confidence.

One study found that men apply to roles when they fit 60% of criteria; women apply when they fit 100% of criteria.

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Many organizations have 50-50 representation at lower levels, dropping off dramatically in middle and upper management.

Quotas and targets are one way to close that gap but should not be relied upon. “We don’t want fake promotions to close the gap,” said Tastad, but rather a fundamental change of the culture.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of having targets,” said Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Minister of Canada, highlighting Canada’s current gender-balanced cabinet, a campaign promise of Justin Trudeau that “sends a powerful message.”